Visiting London for work or study?

Top 5 tips for finding great accommodation

 
Travelling to London for an extended work stay can be daunting. Our team at Doctor in the House believe that one of the best things you can do to feel comfortable in “The Big Smoke” is to choose the great accommodation. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you begin your search for accommodation in London.
 
 

Think of London as a cluster of small towns joined together, making one big city

 
First things first, London is big, very big and has a population more than 9 million. Coming to terms with the gargantuan nature of London can be tricky, however, we’ve found that breaking the city down into smaller parts can be very helpful. After all Greater London has 32 boroughs, and in those boroughs there can be numerous small town centres with their own tube or train stations, high streets and even cultures!
 
If you know the borough where you’ll be working you can use a map to check out the local areas that are close by your work place. This should make your search easier as you can begin to make a shortlist of places you’re interested in.
 
For example if you were working at King’s College Hospital you would be in the borough of Lambeth. In Lambeth there are several areas that you could choose to live in including Brixton, Camberwell, Clapham, Stockwell and Herne Hill. You can then check out those areas on Google and pick which area interests you most.
 
 

Research the best ways you can get to your place of work

 
London’s transport system is one of the most extensive and reliable in the world and there are many ways to move around the city. We are blessed with wonderful buses, trains, overgrounds, undergrounds, cars, trams, boats, bicycles and we are soon to be riding scooters around the city.
 
This being said, one thing you shouldn’t underestimate is the time it can take to get from one area to another. Downloading the Google Maps or CityMapper Apps onto your smartphone will help you receive live feeds of all the available transport options and routes. It’s also worth downloading bicycle hire Apps to hire one of the numerous bikes which line London’s pavements – these are especially useful if traffic is at a standstill, or if you want to avoid the sweltering experience of London Underground journeys in the midst of high summer.
 
Once you know where you are working and you decide how long you would like your commute to last then you will be able to find locations that match your requirements.
 
 

Make sure that your accommodation has all facilities you need for a comfortable stay

 
We’ve all booked or purchased things online and later discovered that we’ve misread or missed vital information that we’ve later come to regret.
 
This is important in this instance, for example if you plan on staying in London for 6 months and you only realise upon arrival that there is no access to a washing machine during your stay then you will have pay the price at a local launderette. Or it could be a less costly mistake, such as realising that you will only have access to a bath rather than a shower, not the end of the world but still an inconvenience, and as we say it’s all about comfort.
 
Selecting the correct accommodation is certainly a delicate decision and one that is worth taking time over. From our point of view we always encourage our Guests to make sure they have checked all the facilities available in accommodations and that they have thought through their needs thoroughly before confirming a booking.
 
 

Budgeting, budgeting, budgeting

 
London is famous for being an expensive city. Try to keep an eye on the price of things and on your spending. It is very easy to spend money in London and after an iced latte in the morning and a sandwich for lunch, along with your daily transport costs you can easily spend £20.00. You should try to prepare for, and understand, the potential costs you could incur by selecting a particular accommodation.
 
There are a number of transport zones in London, and travelling on public transport between these zones comes at a price. You may think it wise to rent a room in zone 4 at a lower rate but then realise on arrival the significant additional transport costs incurred could have been used to secure more expensive accommodation in zone 1 or 2 where you could walk to your place of work.
 
London has a huge and thriving hospitality business, but we don’t advise that you eat out every night! Making sure you have access to a kitchen will save you a great deal of money, you’ll be able to cook yourself some nice affordable meals in the comfort of your home, meals out and takeaways are delicious but can seriously hurt your budget if you are trying to be frugal. Keeping an eye on the price of things is important given the cost of living in London.
 

Think about what you want from a home and what your life in London will be like

 
It may be a good idea for you to consider what your life will be like in London, and then assess what you want and need from your accommodation.
 
If you are working a Monday to Friday 9-5, you may wish to make sure there are plenty of local restaurants or cultural spots to visit in your spare time, London is full of fantastic eateries and wonderful free cultural activities.
 
If you’re doing a mix of work and study whilst you’re here then you will probably wish to have a room with desk or table space to study. You may also consider selecting studio or flat accommodation rather than a homestay to ensure that your place will be quieter and you don’t get distracted.
 
If you’re mixing work with study or if you’re working changeable shifts then it might be wise to find accommodation very close to your place of work, given that transport is less plentiful in the middle of the night and you might not want a long journey home if your shift ends at 5.30 am.
 
 

 

London is one of the greenest cities in Europe and there are parks, greens, commons, heaths and wetlands spread out across the city, meaning you will never be too far from one of these spaces. We suggest you take advantage of this whenever you can, and whatever your schedule is. London is a busy bustling city and a little time out to relax in peace amongst the grass and the trees away from the busy streets will do wonders for your wellbeing.

We want you to enjoy your time in London, and we know by choosing the right accommodation in an area good for you will help you experience this brilliant city. This is why Doctor in the House offers a free personal booking service.

Our experienced booking team will be on the end of the phone or available by email to help you make the right choice. A member of our team will talk you through your booking, the accommodation and the area you have in mind to ensure your choice is right for you and that you enjoy one of the most exciting cities on Earth.

Doctor in the House Accommodation bookers will be delighted to help you arrange your stay for your next professional visit to London. Find out more.